Boat, RV show offers entertainment, shopping for recreation … – Longview News

Exhibition archer Frank Addington Jr. knows his act isn’t something most people would expect to see at an event such as the East Texas Boat and RV Show — but then again, the surprise is part of how he makes an impression.

“With hunting shows, I’m preaching to the choir,” he said. “RV shows are a new audience for me, and a lot of times it’ll spark an interest in archery.”

Addington is performing his “aspirin buster” act — in which he hits an aspirin pill with a bow and arrow behind his back — at this weekend’s show at Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center. More than 25 vendors have RVs, boats, golf carts and other outdoors equipment at the sales show, which opened Friday and continues through Sunday.

Addington’s performances — at noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. today and 1 p.m. Sunday — are the event’s special attraction. He said he grew up in a family of archers and has been performing “bow-and-arrow razzle dazzle” for 33 years.

He hopes his 30-minute act encourages people to pick up archery, or at least gets them to go outside and enjoy nature.

“The message I have is turn off the computers, TV and video games and get outdoors with your family,” he said. “(Children) won’t remember the high score they got on a video game, but they will remember the first bass they catch with grandma or grandpa.”

Kane Elliot, 16, and Cade Nelson, 15, of Beckville don’t have a problem with getting outdoors. The pair decided to start K C Custom Jigs to fund their passion for fishing tournaments.

“We needed more money to fish in more tournaments, so we started making jigs,” Kane said.

He said they read about how to melt the lead and mold the heads to make each lure, but the effort largely was trial and error until they figured out what worked. Cade said this weekend is their first time to have a sales booth, and business was good on the show’s opening day.

Kane said the show is helping them hone their sales techniques for the future.

“It’s a lot easier to sell when you find common ground and tell fishing stories,” he said.

Between 5,000 and 6,000 people are expected to turn out over the show’s three days.

Gary Nichols, owner of Nichols Marine, brought 15 boats to the show, eight of which were different models of pontoon boats. He said one of the reasons pontoon boats remain popular is their diversity.

“Pontoons still continue to be the fastest-growing segment in the marine industry,” he said. “The boating industry is growing and has shown real growth in the last three years.”

He said Friday was good for business, but he expects today to bring in larger crowds.

Michael Swanker, 33, of Quitman came to the show Friday for the first time to look at fifth wheel campers. He said space is the top factor he considers when looking at different models.

“We are ready for a new one,” he said. “Ours is about ready to retire.”

Swanker said he likely won’t purchase anything this weekend, but the show gives him something to think about.

For most attendees this year, the small, two-person campers have been the most popular, said Lynn Florence, a sales representative for Tyler RV Center. She said the business brought out 20 types of RVs, toy haulers and more.

“(Attendees) come in droves,” Florence said. “We’ve had some very interested so far. It looks like it’ll be a very successful weekend.”


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